Tuesday, July 02, 2013

Hoist on his own petard

By Carl

The problem with becoming the story rather than a part of the story is this:

Snowden has been stuck in a Moscow airport's transit zone since arriving there on June 23 from Hong Kong after releasing explosive allegations about Washington's vast global spying programme.

The 30-year-old lashed out at the United States late on Monday, accusing US officials of pressuring foreign leaders to refuse him refuge after Washington charged him with espionage for going through with his leaks.

"These are the old, bad tools of political aggression," Snowden said in a statement published by the anti-secrecy WikiLeaks group.

"Their purpose is to frighten, not me, but those who would come after me."

Actually, I think the purpose is to pressure you to come home and face criminal charges. Just like Daniel Ellsberg did. Just like Andrei Sakharov did in the Soviet Union. Just like Bradley Manning did.

Had you done that, stayed behind and took the heat, you could have given far more encouragement to future whistleblowers to come forward. You would have had a steadier platform to orate from.

Instead, you decided that wasn’t diva-ish enough. Meanwhile, your actions, including the leak, have done little if nothing to move the needle of public opinion. We were sheep before you revealed known facts, and we are sheep now. If anything, the backlash against you comes not from the government, but from the citizens of the United States.

And for what? You’re like the little boy in the back of the station wagon who points out the cop by the side of the road after he’s already turned on his lights and started his siren when dad is speeding. Gee…thanks for pointing that out, Captain Obvious!

You took an unnecessary risk, in other words, and then ran like a scared rabbit. And now that the trap has been snared, you don’t have a whole lot of ground to stand on here, whining about how unfair it is that your privilege to escape has been revoked. In other words, you planned to go in and steal “secrets” from the government without planning one step further down the road, there ain’t no one to blame but yourself.

Now you’ve become the story. Now any real discussion of the things you re-revealed will get lost because you’re just another fame-seeking moron look for his fifteen minutes.

(Cross-posted to Simply Left Behind.)

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